- Players Championship
Hawkins shocks Trump as Greene makes first ranking final
Barry Hawkins stunned Judd Trump with a superb 4-1 victory to set up an all-Kent final against Gerard Greene at the Players Championship Grand Final in Preston.
Both will be playing for the £100,000 top prize and trophy on Saturday evening at the Guild Hall.
Hawkins, who only qualified for the event as a result of Stuart Bingham's win at the last Asian Tour event, found himself a frame behind as Trump edged ahead thanks to a 62 break.
However, Trump scored 29 points in the next three frames as Hawkins surged into a two-frame lead thanks to breaks of 50, 75 and 131. A superb 61 clearance, which included a double on the yellow in the fifth, sealed a Hawkins victory.
"I can't believe Gerry and I are in the final," Hawkins told worldsnooker.com. "We practise together, his table's next to mine. I've got to put up with him screaming all day. If he moans about his form this week he needs shooting. It's great for the club, Jordan's. For both of us to be in the final is like a dream come true.
"I'm with Gerry all the time on the tour so I'm delighted for him as well because he's been struggling in the last few years."
Greene, who had to come back from three frames down in his quarter-final match with Anthony Hamilton, beat the in-form Marco Fu 4-2 to seal a spot in his first-ever ranking final in 21 years as a professional player.
He is already guaranteed the biggest payday of his career, earning £38,000 win or lose in the final. Despite a century break of 121 from Fu, Greene kept his nerve with a dogged performance to book a clash with Hawkins.
"It feels fantastic," Greene said. "It wasn't a great game, I dragged him down to my level, but it's good enough for me. As long as I keep winning I don't care. I missed a couple of balls as usual, but in the end I got the win. I always feel when I come to tournaments that I can have a good run, but it never happens.
"I was 3-0 down to Anthony Hamilton earlier in the week and I played well to come back to win 4-3. After that I actually felt like a professional snooker player for the first time in a couple of years, because I played well to win against a top-quality player.
"The money will mean the tax-man's happy and the missus is happy. I'll take the family on holiday, pay the bills, and might get a new car after that."